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Thread: Dogs Fighting - Help Please!

  1. #1

    Default Dogs Fighting - Help Please!

    I have 2 Maltese/Poodles, one is 12 years old (whole dog)and one is about 9 months old (spayed). We got the second dog as the older one was getting lonely as my children were growing up and not home as much. They got along fine with the older one playing mother to the younger one even until the younger one was spayed then they gradually began to fight. I can't see any trigger for the fights and it seems to vary as to which one starts it. When it first started we used to pick the older one up and ignore the younger to try and make the older one 'top dog' but this seemed to make things worse. The younger one does follow the older one around for most of the day(very closely as in nose to tail, she has even bumped into her behind if the older one stops suddenly LOL) and copies her actions all day so it may just be that she is annoying her so much that she finally loses it. The younger one could just feel rejected and then reacts but I don't really know alot about dogs so could just be assigning human emotions to them. When they fight neither back down so we pick both up (luckily they aren't german shepherds!) and put them both in a separate room for 5 - 10 mins on their own as in a time out the way you would with children. They don't like to be away from us so it's the only 'punishment' I can think of as I can't bring myself to hit an animal. I didn't have a dog growing up so don't really know alot about them, can anyone tell me if we are doing the right thing or are we making things worse?

  2. #2
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    Picking them up is rewarding the behaviour.

  3. #3

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    I need to ask a few questions first before I offer any advise.
    So what general obedaince control do you have eg do they come when called, sit when asked etc.
    How is the tolit situation, do they have accidents?
    What exercise do they get?
    Who is the aggresser & it it always the same dog who starts the fights?
    Dogs make everyday life enjoyable...........

  4. #4
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    It is possible the younger one is being an annoying teenager.

    At some point the younger dog may try to take over the lead position no matter what you do.

    You might want to get some advice from a vet-behaviourist for the best way to deal with it.

    I agree with Brittany that picking either dog up will encourage the fighting. But you do have to stop them. I'd be inclined to chuck a towel over each dog and pick them up in that, hold them away from you (no cuddling), don't speak to either dog (apart from an initial "bah" warning to stop before you chuck the towel), and then put them in their separate places.

    Picking up the older dog will also prevent it from asserting its place with the younger dog. Do they actually draw blood or is it a lot of growling and snapping only?

    I also like the idea of using a rattle (eg tin can with tin cans in it) or a water pistol as a distraction but this will only work when you're home.

    You will need to separate them when you're out. So you might want to consider crate training them and putting them in separate crates when you're not available to supervise.

    Hopefully Steve will come and post some more specific advice.

  5. #5

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    I would not pick either dog up unless you thought it was in danger of being badly hurt or something.
    Is it only noise & wrestling really?
    I also meant to ask before wether you walk them together?
    Dogs make everyday life enjoyable...........

  6. #6
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    They are bound to try and work out the pecking order when the younger dog is big enough to take the older on. It depends on whether they're acually causing damage but they need to sort it out.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brittany View Post
    They are bound to try and work out the pecking order when the younger dog is big enough to take the older on. It depends on whether they're acually causing damage but they need to sort it out.
    True but in most cases they can sort it out without any real fighting. But I am wondering if these is true fighting or just an unresolved issued that the dogs could maybe resolve themselves if given the chanse. Just guessing untill we get more info really, lol..................
    Dogs make everyday life enjoyable...........

  8. #8
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    My three have spats. Sometimes a little skin off around Jaws. Occasionally it is more serious.
    As they are of similar size I just let them sort it unless it goes too far. This has never happened as yet.
    I did have a fight inside between two of them which I broke up. I was afraid they would go underneath the bird cage and topple it and I will not allow that behaviour inside.

    Years ago I had two dogs that hated each other, ripped each other to bits. I had to keep them separated. One of the dogs though was accidentally killed when he slipped in mud in front of the ute when chasing cattle. I had not had that problem before, or since, to that degree.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Di_dee1 View Post
    My three have spats. Sometimes a little skin off around Jaws. Occasionally it is more serious.
    As they are of similar size I just let them sort it unless it goes too far. This has never happened as yet.
    I did have a fight inside between two of them which I broke up. I was afraid they would go underneath the bird cage and topple it and I will not allow that behaviour inside.

    Years ago I had two dogs that hated each other, ripped each other to bits. I had to keep them separated. One of the dogs though was accidentally killed when he slipped in mud in front of the ute when chasing cattle. I had not had that problem before, or since, to that degree.
    I agree that in many cases dogs are better left to sort it out themselves.
    Especally in younger dogs & family packs like yours.
    But if it continues to happen especally once all dogs are of a mature age maybe the owner should look at the overall picture to make sure they are not causing the friction at all.
    There is an older dog in this fight though & that worries me a little.
    Dogs make everyday life enjoyable...........

  10. #10
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    Yes, agree with you there, CD.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

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